Depending on where you live, you may have taken notice of a trend where big corporations are taking over and moving the small businesses out. Many towns and small cities are now carbon copy of each other, with the same chain of coffee shops, the same clothing retailers, the same chains of DIY and garden care companies and the same electrical outlets.
The small businesses seem to be fighting a losing battle and the lifeblood is being sucked out of them.
The exciting news is the Internet gives you, a small private practice, a new level playing field where you really can easily become a giant on the Internet and get your share of the business that’s out there.
Increasingly patients are looking online for information with over 80% of patients research health conditions, symptoms, and healthcare brands online. These are local people in your area, and some are potential patients.
[note_box]Don’t just take our word for it. Look at the statistics in any publication (e.g. pewinternet.org) and you will see the trend increasing year after year that the majority of people research products and services online using their mobile phones and tablets but here is the twist: they still buy offline.[/note_box]
That means that your practice should be taking full advantage of the Internet and getting a slice of the action. If you don’t, then your competitors will.
Read on to find out how you can become an online giant.
Getting Started Online – Taking Control Of Your Physical Therapy Web Design
One of the reasons so many local businesses put off promoting themselves on the Internet is because it can be overwhelming. There are so many ways that you can market your practice online that you might not know where to start.
A large number of local businesses dabble in online marketing and then give up after a few weeks because they don’t get the results they expect.
Although the Internet is not a magic wand that instantly makes you rich overnight, you will see results if you know what you are doing.
It‘s true, not all marketing techniques are suitable for all business types, but here are some things that your practice can start to implement to help give you a giant-sized presence on the Internet (and they won’t break the bank either).
Your website does not need to be an expensive, all-singing, all-dancing work of art. It should make a great first impression and it should be search-engine friendly and regularly updated .
For many private practices, designing a functional but profitable website can be extremely daunting, so they tend to leave the whole design in the hands of their website designer.
This can turn out to be a very expensive mistake for your practice. Web designers can make some stunning looking websites complete with every bell and whistle imaginable.
However, if you owned a car dealership, it is doubtful that you would trust your car mechanic to have complete control of your marketing campaigns. While he might be a very good car mechanic, it is unlikely he would also be an expert in marketing. Leave it all up him and pretty soon you would be out of business.
That is in effect what you would be doing if you allowed your web designer to have complete control of your website.
Yes, they might have good design skills, but in most cases, they know very little about marketing. There are very few web designers who understand how to optimize sites for the search engines, or how to write compelling copy or information that effectively describes the services your practice offers.
You really don’t want a website designer who just concentrates on how pretty they can make your site and how they can add a wide range of lovely looking but utterly pointless gimmicks on your site.
So rather than give your web designer free reign, here are some tips that will put you in control and and help you end up with a website that draws more patients to your practice:
1. Be very clear about what you want.
You want a website that works 24/7 and earns its keep, so you need to be clear on exactly what you want each web page to do. When thinking about the function of each page of your website, decide in advance what its purpose is.
For example, will it be used purely as an online brochure for your patients to show off services or do you want to add some general information about physical therapy and common conditions treated by your practice as well?
Will you want your page to collect visitor’s names and addresses or do you just want your site to let people know how they can contact you?
Will you have a blog where you can keep patients updated or will you be sending a newsletter out?
2. Have your offer and call to action clearly visible on your website.
Don’t hide this information away. Put your address and phone number at the top-right of every page. If you want patients to be able to schedule an appointment on your website, make that clear to them and easy to do. Do NOT make your call to action or offer a sign up for a free ebook on how to treat their own back. It devalues your service!
3. When you write your web copy for your site, write it with the reader in mind.
Always remember to clarify what you can do for them. It will make it very boring if the site is all about you and how great you think you are. Nothing turns a visitor away fast enough than the words “we do this…” or “we are…” Talk about your unique benefits. What makes your practice different from the clinic next door. Remember, it is not about you, it is about the patient, so show them that you are the type of practice that provides exactly what they need and what they’re looking for.
[colored_box variation=”steelblue”]Click here for a guest blog post I wrote and is posted on WebPT which gives you more tips on how to write copy for your home and about us pages. In summary, think twice about letting your website designer completely take over. Even if you don’t have a technical bone in your body, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have full control over the online presence of your practice.[/colored_box]